|Location||United Kingdom, Highfield Campus|
|Type||Master courses, full-time|
|Nominal duration||1 year|
|Awards||PG Cert/PG Dip/MSc|
|Tuition fee||To be confirmed|
Undergraduate diploma (or higher)
Second-class honours degree, with some exposure to statistical methods (eg in geography, psychology, population sciences, economics/econometrics, statistics, mathematics)
IELTS: 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.0 in each band)
At least 2 reference(s) must be provided.
The programme is designed to provide you with the specialist skills and knowledge which are central to the conduct of professional statistical work in government. The primary target audience comprises those currently employed in the UK government statistical services or equivalent organisations overseas.
Through part-time study, the programme aims to strengthen and update your professional skills and knowledge. Many of the skills taught on the programme, such as survey methods and data analysis, are also in great demand by employers outside government and the programme provides relevant training for professional positions in a wide range of organisations conducting large-scale statistical work.
The modular structure of the programme enables you to tailor your individual scheme of study to your other commitments. Successful completion of 12 instructional modules leads to the award of Diploma in Official Statistics. If you pass the diploma assessment, you will be permitted to undertake a supervised dissertation for the MSc Official Statistics. Successful completion of six instructional modules leads to the award of Certificate in Official Statistics.
All qualifications are awarded by the University of Southampton and are subject to the same academic standards as other certificates, diplomas and MSc degrees at the University. Teaching takes place at the Office for National Statistics in their London or Newport offices and at the University of Southampton, and is delivered by experienced personnel from both universities and government.
The MSc comprises an instructional component and a masters dissertation based on supervised research. The instructional component requires the completion of 12 modules. The Certificate requires the completion of six modules, with each module taught during one week. Some modules follow four days of full-time study over Monday to Thursday, while others may use all five days for formal teaching.
Formal teaching includes lectures, discussion sessions with the presenters, time for private study and, for certain modules, computer-based workshops. There will also be an opportunity for you to continue with private study on the Friday for the four-day modules, with access to computing and library facilities as required. The presenter will provide a feedback session on the Friday to discuss any issues arising from your private study.
The modules for the instructional component are selected from 20 modules. You must take all eight compulsory modules at some point and four of the 12 option modules. The Certificate requires four compulsory modules. In each academic year, 13 of the 20 modules will be offered. Compulsory modules are delivered every year and option modules are rotated in a three-year cycle.
In the first year of registration, you must take Introduction to Survey Research, Survey Sampling, and Regression Modelling among your modules. You must take at least two modules in each year of registration and complete all 12 modules by no later than the end of semester one in the fourth year of registration. The Certificate requires completion of the six modules within two years. Some modules have prerequisites; otherwise, you are free to take modules in the order you choose.
You may find that there are periods of time when you are unable to study, for example if you are on secondment abroad or if you are on maternity leave. During such periods, it is possible to apply for your registration to be suspended. The three and a half years maximum duration of registration for the completion of the 12 modules excludes any periods during which registration is suspended.
Modules are assessed on the basis of both written work and examinations. Deadlines will be set for written work in the same semester. Examinations will take place at the end of each semester in January and in May/June. The balance between coursework and examinations will vary between modules.
Supervised dissertation for MSc
The successful completion of 12 instructional modules leads to the award of Diploma in Official Statistics. In approved cases, if you pass the diploma assessment, you will be permitted to undertake a supervised dissertation for the MSc Official Statistics.
A typical dissertation project might involve applying methods learned on the instructional part of the course to some specific application in official statistics: for example, the study of non-response in a given survey, the redesign of a survey, the reconciliation of estimates from two different sources or a detailed analysis of a dataset. Provided satisfactory supervision arrangements can be made, you can work on a topic of your own choice. Supervision will normally be by a member of the academic staff at the University of Southampton. The project may be jointly supervised by a government statistician.
Although formal approval to undertake the dissertation will only come on completion of the instructional modules, you are encouraged to start preparatory work on your chosen topic at an earlier date. Such preparations might, for example, involve setting up appropriate datasets and reviewing relevant literature. It is estimated that, including preparation time, the dissertation will require 55 days to complete and write up. It should be completed within six months after the date that formal approval is given. Thus the maximum period of registration on the MSc programme is four years, to cover both the instructional modules and the dissertation.